Pioneer of barcode-scanner technology dies

Alfred Hildebrand, a laser pioneer who helped bring barcode scanners into the mainstream, died October 20 at his home in Palo Alto, CA from cancer.

SAN JOSE, CA - Alfred Hildebrand, a laser pioneer who helped bring barcode scanners into the mainstream, died October 20 at his home in Palo Alto, CA from cancer. He was 63.

After graduating from Stanford University in 1963, he pursued a career in pro football, but a knee injury sent him back to school-Stanford Business School. His first job was with Spectra-Physics (Mountain View, CA), where he helped develop several markets and applications for the company’s lasers, including printing, lithography, and semiconductor memory repair.

But Hildebrand is perhaps best known for his role in developing the laser barcode scanner, leading the team at Spectra-Physics that created this technology. He eventually spent 28 years at Spectra Physics. For the last 15 years Hildebrand was instrumental in the development of a number of other companies, including Silicon Light Machines, Inviso, and Nanogear.

A memorial service is planned for Nov. 20 at Stanford. For more information, see www.alhildebrand.com.

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